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The Saint Louis Bank Robbery

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The Saint Louis Bank Robbery

Publication date 1959
Publisher Charles Guggenheim & Associates


Steve McQueen stars in a gritty, downbeat, and sometimes savage heist movie that features a gang of very psychologically warped men and a story that's based on an actual crime.

Warning: this film is devoid of humor, wit, cheerfulness, glamor, and mercy. It's grim to the brim. Some will find that viewing it is an unpleasant experience.


This movie is in the public domain. Video-Cellar wrote:

The film was originally published without a notice, but most prints currently in circulation are later television syndication prints which had a super'd copyright notice on the end.

The renewal would be effectively invalid on that basis alone, but when you add the renewing party "Film World International" was one of those companies that tried to renew films they didn't really own before they entered the PD, it is completely invalid. They also tried this with "The Proud Rebel", "The Deep Six" and "Lonelyhearts". Only problem was that Alan Ladd Enterprises (Deep Six) and Schary Productions (Lonelyhearts) also applied for renewals and FWI got found out. Don't ask me why the copyright office keeps the records of the fraudulent claims on file.


Reviewer: eggbone - favoritefavorite - February 20, 2016
Subject: FAIR
Tough to rate. Slow 1st half. Good story. Good screenplay. A good bit of overacting. Easy to see Steve McQ in his "teething" days as an actor.
Reviewer: PJessep - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 15, 2015
Subject: Weird comments on the dating of this movie?!
It's well documented that this movie was released in 1959 and it was based on a real life robbery in 1953! Don't understand the earlier comments on the date verification. Car models and equipment LATER than the release date....somebody has their facts wrong! Great movie that was so ahead of it's time. McQueen's acting in particular is modern - could have been made yesterday leaving aside its obvious historical context. A natural, brilliant actor, taken away from us far too soon!
Reviewer: indianacarnie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2013
Subject: Excellent Movie
Top notch, A-1, Cream of the crop ..... the adjectives could go on and on. A very well made, well written, well acted movie. Very dark and gritty,almost no one in the movie escapes the darkness. The inclusion of the gay crooks (lovers in prison ans out) must have been quite daring when released. For you homophobes out there, its IMPLIED and never stated per se, and does not detract from this very taut and compelling film.
Reviewer: Moongleam - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 8, 2013
Subject: Don't believe the completely obtuse
Re: the date of this movie.

It was released to theaters in September 1959.

Look at how young McQueen is. It's obvious the movie wasn't made in the 1970s.
Reviewer: captpete79 - favorite - July 8, 2013
Subject: don't waste your time
A terrible movie supposed to be in 1959 but there was a 1960 Chevy and a .45acp with a skeletel hammer that wasn't used until the 1970s. Who knows what happened to the fat ass driver? He should have been killed off by McQueen for following him around. All around dud movie!
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 31, 2012
Subject: Saint Louis Bank Robbery Review
This gritty, film noir flick is top notch. Good plot,good acting, et al. Steve McQueen's regular-guy character falls in with a couple, homo-psycho bank robbers. The gang-leader fits today's FBI profile of many a psychopathic killer: mother was a drunken prostitute who beat her son. This psycho's hatred of women is pivotal to the plot. McQueen's girlfriend tries her best to steer her boyfriend down the high road, but he chooses the low road. Bad choices leads him and her to tragic ends.
Reviewer: Kodachrome - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2011
Subject: Not too depressing in my not so humble opinion.
The bad guys got what they deserved after all.

One of the better offerings from the Archive.

And yes, there are many good movies that have slipped into PD status. This is one of them.

Thanks for the upload.
Reviewer: rclo - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 25, 2011
Subject: News Flash: Crime Doesn't Pay!
A no-nonsense telling of a botched bank heist in 1953. Unlike in "The Dirty Dozen," criminals don't always rise to their peak performance when the chips are down. Any group where ever member has a role is limited by the weakest member, and criminal endeavors are one time when failures spell disaster.

Anyway, the 1950s cars are the stars of this flick, even if they did use models that weren't yet around in 1953. Many of the cars used haven't been seen since the '50s: check out the Buick station wagon that was a stretched-out sedan.
Reviewer: JesusBuddy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2011
Movies like this teach us good lessons. Excellent for teaching members of all societies that crime, cheating, deception and shortcuts do not pay. furthermore, we really should have the ear to listen to those who love us and do what is all necessary to get away from a crime even though we may have committed to participate in it. Contact the right authorities and be ready to get out no matter how scared you may be. The end of every crime is always rotten both in the short or long-run.
Reviewer: Vic Demise - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 12, 2011
Subject: Depressing character study...
I agree with all the reviews below, but I have to say, it simply moved too slow.
Otherwise, a well made picture, good performances.
(The one other criticism I had would spoil too much if I mentioned it here).
Reviewer: Brylcreem - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 16, 2010
Subject: Great Period Piece
As others have said, this picture can be depressing to watch, but not overwhelmingly so in my view. Shortly after the story starts, one gets a sense of impending doom, and that feeling only builds as the film progresses. There is no comic relief, no romantic interlude, to lighten the mood. I would call this movie "a lesson in stark reality" not far removed from today's "docudramas."

I enjoyed the movie's plot, story and acting. Steve McQueen made what I thought was a very good performance - fans should find it fascinating as a study in early McQueen.

I enjoyed the picture for its portrayal of what life was like in the late Fifties. There are plenty of automobiles of the period for antique car buffs to ogle, since so much of the action takes place on the street. Indeed, pick a category - social customs, night life, architecture, technology, history, fashion - and there's something in this picture to illustrate the time in which it was made.

I enjoyed the film very much despite its depressing subject, and highly recommend it.
Reviewer: bearpuf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 28, 2010
Subject: Good for the View
It's enjoyable to watch McQueen develop his role through this cops and robbers drama. Acting is good by most of the cast. The starkness of the cityscape using black and white film left me cold with a continuous feeling of eventual doom. Many thanks to the uploader.
Reviewer: SedonaShadow - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2010
Subject: Excellent!
Thank you! Much better than that fuzzy thing I downloaded two years ago. Now if we can get the one with the car chase through SF or motorcycle through the German lines........................
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